Dr. Rhyne began work on the Project Trumpet virus as an experiment. At the time, the Marking program had not yet been instituted, and her work was purely theoretical. Project Trumpet is a nanovirus, electrically engineered to cause illness in humans. She modified the nanovirus molecules so that they would remain dormant until an activation protein entered the body and bound itself to the virus. Dr. Rhyne developed a vaccine to prevent the virus as well. Although Chancellor Cylis initially planned to use the virus against the Markless, since they did not exist at the time, Dr. Rhyne believed she was merely performing an experiment.
Project Trumpet causes flu-like symptoms. The major symptom associated with the virus is a fever that gets increasingly higher. The victim's body temperature will continue to rise until he or she dies.
Use by CylisEdit
General Lamson had required that all citizens, when Marked, should also be given Dr. Rhyne's vaccine in case he decided to use the Project Trumpet virus against the Markless. Cylis, wanting to diminish Lamson's power, found a protein that would activate the vaccine, thereby killing the Marked, who he believed were the greater threat to him. He rigged the Lahoma weather mill so that it would spread the virus the next time the mill was used to create rain. Lamson responded by stopping use of the mill. He attempted to get the parents of Connor Goodman, who managed the mill, to blow it up for the greater good. They were unsuccessful, and Connor decided that he would blow up the mill himself.
Cylis, however, was aware of the cause of the artificial drought. He used Lily Langly to encourage her brother Logan to stop Connor. Lily convinced Logan that the drought would kill the Markless if it did not end, and so he, together with Hailey Phoenix, prevented Connor from destroying the mill. Instead, he redirected the missiles, starting a rainstorm that ended the drought. Unfortunately, that rainstorm spread the Project Trumpet virus across the continent.
EffectsEditProject Trumpet virus affected most of the Marked population. Marked hospitals filled rapidly, leaving many sick without a place to turn. As a result, the Markless became involved in caring for those who were ill. Unmarked doctors came to see sick Marked patients, and others among the Markless moved in with the sick, caring for them within their homes.
Dr. Rhyne had been working to develop an antidote to the virus in order to save Erin's life, since Erin came down with Project Trumpet earlier than the rest of the population. After the Dust located the activation protein that caused the disease, Dr. Rhyne created a cure that was released through the Lahoma weather mill. Although many Marked had died as a result of the virus, the lives of many others were saved.